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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  May 15, 2015 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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route to its final deliverance and for each character who we have come to love, a chance to look us in our souls and say good-bye. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in." >> there's nothing to celebrate. this is a matter of justice. >> dzhokar tsarnaev sentenced to die for his role in the boston marathon bombing. tonight, the reaction from who's and the long-shot defense strategy that did not work. then, another police shooting caught on tape shows yet again how faulty eyewitness testimony can be. . actor danny glover on the new civil rights movement and actor ethan hawke on his new role as a remote-control drone pilot in "good kill." >> three, two, one, right. >> good kill. >> "all in" starts right now.
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good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. friday april 19th, 2013, a little over two years ago, the entire city of boston was on lockdown as law enforcement searched for a criminal at large. cedar navy had been on the lam since his brother was killed in a shoot-out with police in the early hours of that friday morning. a resident of suburban watertown, massachusetts, while the city was under lockdown noticed a tarp flapping on the boat in his backyard and thermal imaging determined there was a person hiding there curled up inside. law enforcement descended on the neighborhood, evacuating residents and surrounding the area. several times, gunshots rang out on the quiet suburban street, and not long after dark a wounded dzhokar tsarnaev was brought safely into custody. his capture started with the attack on one of the city's
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prized position, the boston marathon. the explosions killed three people. 23-year-old linsey loo, christie campbell, and 8-year-old martin richard, a third grader. scores more were injured, many with severe leg injuries that required amputation. in the days after, law enforcement officials raced to find the people responsible. and after the fbi released surveillance footage of its main suspect, one in a black hat and one in a white an m.i.t. officer was fatally shot late that thursday night. sar naef brothers then hijacked an suv, drove to the nearby suburb of watertown where they engaged with a massive shoot-out with police. at some point the older brother, tamerlan ran out of ammunition and was tackled by police. dzhokar sped away in the suv hitting tamerlan who died of gunshot wounds and trauma to his head and torso. in the two years since dzhokar tsarnaev was apprehended, federal prosecutors have brought a capital case against him for the bombings and all that followed. and tsarnaev's defense team took
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the unusual step of acknowledging his role, focusing its strategy at trial on convincing the jury not to give him the death penalty. and they got support from a pretty remarkable source. the family of 8-year-old bombing victim martin richard, who wrote an op-ed in "the boston globe," arguing that the death penalty and the appeals that would inevitably follow would only prolong their family's pain. the defense also appears to have had an impact on public opinion in massachusetts, which has become less and less inclined to give tsarnaev the death penalty as the trial has progressed. the most recent "boston globe" poll taken last month less than 20% said he should be executed. the jury did not agree however. today, at a federal courthouse in boston they condemned dzhokar tsarnaev to the death. family members of the victims expressed some mixed emotions. >> happy is not the word i would use. there is nothing happy about having to take somebody's life.
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i'm satisfied, i'm grateful that they came to that conclusion. >> having personally endured several things in my own life. >> i have to watch my two sons put a leg on every day, so i don't mean closure, but i can tell you it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. >> there is nothing to celebrate, this is a matter of justice. phillip, you've been monitoring this trial closely. was this a surprise to you? >> it was a surprise to me. i think it came as a surprise to quite a few people. i wouldn't say people are shocked. but there are two surprises. one is that the verdict came today. and the second of course is the verdict itself. it was felt, as you pointed out, in your introduction, the demographic, this is an area where most people are against the death penalty. they're not just against the
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death penalty, many people militate against the death penalty. they're anti-death penalty. a lot of that is because of catholicism, a lot of that is because of liberal leanings. and poll after poll has suggested that it was a two-to-up withtwo-to- one two-to-one, if you will, against the death penalty. the jury, at least theoretically, was not supposed to be privy to facebook to twitter, to the news of the day. we're not sure how they were influenced by what you mentioned. when it was announced that the defendant, dzhokar tsarnaev would receive death penalty we were surprised. shocked, no but surprised, because we felt at least one person or many people felt that at least one person on that jury would say no to the death penalty and opt for life in prison at a super max in colorado.
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>> the jury described what happened technically today. the jury first had to come to their unanimous decision on each of the aggravating and mitigating factors. that is to say there's a set of statutory aggravateing factors and mitigating factors and where they found each and where they announced. it seemed that some of the mitigating factors the defense put forward, the remoteness of the tsarnaev's father, the sort of experience of dislocation. they did not find persuasive. >> no they didn't find persuasive. and the least persuasive was the argument that was considered the mitigating factor that dzhokar tsarnaev was influenced heavily, dominated by his brother tamerlan. that was the least persuasive than the jury slip. by the members of the jury that the father was mentally ill. and that was considered a
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factor, but none of these mitigating factors was enough to offset the aggravating factor, the factors that involved the loss of linzy lu and 8-year-old martin richard and the other victim who is died during the bombing and the subsequent actions that occurred in watertown. though there was not a unanimous agreement on the killingcollier an m.i.t. police officer. that was not part of the unanimous decision. but the others were, it was enough to, of course, just sentence dzhokar tsarnaev to death. the fact that the majority, the preponderance of aggravating circumstances did not outweigh the mitigating circumstances is what sealed the individual's fate. >> you know, i've read so much coverage of people, even as these verdicts are being read, interpretations of the body language of tsarnaev. and a lot of people interpreting him as sort of diffident as
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stone, as cold, as remorseless, even. there's something profoundly unsatisfying, it seems. obviously, he does not testify at his own trial and he did not testify in his own trial. people kind of wanting to shake this person and say, what the hell is wrong with you? and that, ultimately, there was never ever any satisfaction that the jurors or others found in understanding what why, why did you do this? >> well, i think that's right. i think the defense chose to try to paint him as human. and the prosecution in their own words, said that he was inhumane. and they pointed to his body language. they said he seemed to show no remorse, albeit, the testimony by sister -- a nun, sister helen prejun from new orleans, she basically said he was remorseful, but no one believed it. but i chose to interpret his body language as not so much
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aloofness, but resignation. he seemed to be resigned to either life in prison or to death. >> phillip martin, thank you very much. joining me now by phone is one of the first responders to the boston marathon bombing, carlos a arendondo. he captured a photo helping apply a tourniquet to jim bowman, a man whose legs were blown off. are you there? i don't know if we have him there. mr. arendondo, do i have you? sounds like we don't have him. maybe we can get that worked out technically, and -- mr. arendondo, are you here? >> i'm here. a lot of noise here. >> i wanted to get your reaction. you were there that day, you were handing out american flags this memory of the son that you lost in iraq there at the
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bombing that day. you helped people to safety. you've experienced a lot of tragedy in your own life and i wonder your reaction to the verdict today. >> well, you know, it's been a long journey, ever since then we've been going to the courthouse every day and we was pretty much waiting for this moment. some of us, myself was hoping that this young man can go for the rest of his life to jail and that he can pay -- yeah. hello? >> hello yes, you were hoping that he would be sent away for life? >> yes, yes. i was hoping that he can be in jail for the rest of his life, like that. he cannot get away so easily like the death penalty. >> you think the death penalty is letting him get away easily somehow?
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>> well, do you know, for what they believe, you know, his brother was killed and he run over, he even wrote in the book about now his brother being in heaven and all that. so we was hoping, you know that he didn't get killed and get away with that. >> he wrote, when he was -- he thought he might die when he was in that boat. he have writings in his in which he said he was jealous of his brother for having gone essentially, to the afterlife, as he believed. do you -- how are you prepared to deal with what will likely be a series of appeals that will exthe end over a great period? >> well, you know that's another thing we wasn't trying to do it. we was trying to avoid that as well. not just myself, but many other survivors, was hoping that this didn't happen like that. because that means we have to continue dealing with this person for a long time so the
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grieving process is going to be much longer, than we expected, you know. we was hoping that this would be over by today. >> all right. carlos arredondo thank you for joining us on this day. >> thank you. >> a remarkable individual, if you want to google a little bit about his backstory. i'm joined now by harvard law professor, nancy gurntner. what was your reaction to today's verdict? >> i was shocked. i was profoundly shocked. in one sense, the outcome -- juries are never representative in the sense that, you know, they vote as the public does. they're always randomly selected. this jury was unique, as other death penalty juries are. it is essentially a random
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sample, a fair cross-section of those in the area who believed in the death penalty. and only of that sub-set those people who believed that they could impose it. so the distance between this jury and the public in massachusetts is greater than in in case. >> this is a really important point. my understanding is that according to what the supreme court has held, that jurors can be excluded or are excluded if they have a principled objection, if they don't believe in the death penalty. and when you're in a state like massachusetts, in a city like boston, you're then excluding a very hefty portion of the population. >> right. in other words, there's no question that the judge had to disqualify. the supreme court has said that. there's no question that that had to be done. but what it did in this case was dramatic. the difference between these 12 decided and the public that was equally affected boston was a victim of this crime, the distance between them and the
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rest of the city was very dramatic. and it's also, in other programs, i've heard people say, this was a result that was compelled by the law. that's not at all true. the jury has enormous discretion in an death penalty case. this jury had discretion. and another jury might have found something different. so it's very, very troubleing, because it's so at odds with what the area wanted. >> part of this has to do with the fact that massachusetts doesn't have the death penalty. the last people put to death in massachusetts was way back in 1947. so this is anomalous. deeply anomalous. do you think the federal government should have taken a plea? i mean it seems that very early on they could have essentially struck a deal for life and not had this entire process. there are some who say the process has been vital and cathartic to air all the facts. there are others who say that it was a waste of resources to go through all of this.
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>> well, you see, i actually think they went for the death penalty in part. if you recall, when this case happened, there was enormous pressure to talk about making this go before a military tribunal, having him go before a military tribunal, and it was critical to show that a civilian court could do this. and i felt that they were pressured to accept a death penalty, to go for the death penalty. but they had an option at any moment, we know that now, to accept a plea of life without parole. would the facts have come out? the same facts would have come out. we had no surprises in this case. there would have been a plea colloquy in which the facts would have come out. the victims would have been able to speak. and the significance of life without parole and a plea to that would mean that it would have been over. this is not over. >> nancy gurtner former federal judge, thank you. breaking news that the amtrak train may have been hit by something before the crash. we'll go live to philadelphia
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we've got breaking news tonight in the investigation of the deadly crash of amtrak train 188. after the ntsb interviewed the train's engineer and two assistant conductors the agency has sought assistance from the fbi. the lead investigator described the engineer 32-year-old brandon bostian, as being extremely cooperative with the investigation, but bostian does not remember the crash or anything that might have gone wrong before it. however, one of the conductors does remember something strange happening just before the crash. she told investigators about radio transmissions she heard between her train's engineer, that's bostian, and the engineer of a train from the southeastern pennsylvania transportation authority or septa. >> she said she heard the engineer talking to a septa engineer. she recalled that the septa engineer had reported to the train dispatcher that he had
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either been hit by a rock or shot at. she also believed that she heard her engineer say something about his train being struck by something. >> the ntsb has not independently confirmed the conductor's recollection, but they've asked the fbi to help them investigate it. joining me now by phone from philadelphia, nbc news correspondent, tom costello. and tom, i've got to say, i was watching that press conference today, kind of amazed. i mean it felt like a massive plot twist in this investigation. what do you make of it? >> well a bit of a bombshell. that said, you know we did know, we had heard several days ago, that there was this regional train that had been hit by a rock or something, a projectile of some sort but we thought that was an isolated event, and it still may be. what's happened here the ntsb said, we looked at the windshield from the locomotive on train 188 the train that derailed, and we see something
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that we want the fbi to take a look at. is it damage from the derailment or is it damage from something that occurred before the derailment? a projectile of some sort? that's why they're bringing them in. but, you know, the question is, you've still got a question that will accelerating dramatically over the course of the full minutes before the derailment. 17 seconds prior to the crash, it was exceeding 100 miles per hour. what's interesting here in the narrative is that the engineer reports, once he left the north philly station, he doesn't remember anything. he has no recollection until he came to, he claims after the derailment, in which he suddenly you know, picked himself up he had suffered a head injury, and he, at that point, looked for his cell phone and called 911. so you know you can see here the questions starting, is it possible that this train 188 was hit by a projectile. is it possible the engineer was incapacitated? and is that why the train continued to accelerate? listen, this is a big hypothetical here. but, obviously, that's where --
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that's what the questions are all about right now. >> and i think one of the things, you know obviously, we don't no eknow, right? but this is one of the things that cautioned people immediately, everyone turned to the engineer. we now have him identified. there is a lot of evidence to suggest that in general he was very fastidious, loved trains loved train safety took we believe, a drug and alcohol test, so it may turn out that this is his fault but also, i think, caution that, today perhaps that we're going to find out something that's extremely exculpatory in that respect. >> i've got to tell you, i've covered the ntsb for almost 11 years now, and in almost every major investigation that i have been on, from trains planes to major highway accidents, something comes along that kind of upsets the apple cart. something comes along that kind of challenges your first assumptions. and that may or may not pan out but this happens. now, the ntsb is a very
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transparent organization. they will tell you everything that they're doing, without drawing conclusions. just the fact that they're bringing in the fbi, we should not immediately suspect that there is a criminal action here but rather that the ntsb is crossing their ts and dotting their is. it's not unusual for the fbi to join the ntsb in an investigation. they have expertise that the ntsb relies on. >> and we still do not know why that train was accelerating into that bend. >> and that's the bottom line chris. we don't nope and is it possible that this train would have continued to accelerate without this engineer actually you know allowing it to accelerate, or being asleep at the wheel. >> that's the big question. tom costello, thank you very much. still ahead new evidence of just how unreliable eyewitnesss can be. .yea dulcolax tablets can cause cramps but not phillips. it has magnesium and works more naturally than stimulant laxatives. for gentle cramp free relief of occasional constipation that works! mmm mmm
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last night on "all in," after we showed you my experience going through a state of the art virtual reality police simulator, we held a discussion with three retired nypd officers about how policing can be improved. many of you submitted questions for those officers on our facebook page. "if you remove the revenue incentives and performs incentives that cause police to force interactions with civilians, would that lead to less civilians being killed?" . clearly, the overuse of stop and risk, the lack of discretion and racial profiling cause officers to have more contact with the
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public. it's those contacts that on oy oindication cause reckless policing. there's a long history of officers turning blind eyes to what officers have done. eric sanders, retired nypd officer, now a lawyer, responded, this is true adding with tb blue culture is tough to crack, but serious cracks have developed over the years. today's police agencies are much better handling misconduct. he concluded that more still needs to be done. viewer darcy butler asked about the impact of sleep deprivation on police. steve osbourne former commanding officer of the manhattan gang squad responded, for 20 years, i was constantly sleep deprived, adding, it definitely affects you, especially ambush-type situations. officers answered many more of your questions, we'll post those to our facebook page. jublia is a prescription medicine proven to treat toenail fungus. use jublia as instructed by your doctor. look at the footwork! most common side effects include ingrown toenail, application site redness, itching, swelling
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it's time to change it up! hello, golden blonde. shift a shade with nice'n easy. for natural looking color i don't know if blonde has more fun, but i plan to find out why do we do it? why do we spend every waking moment, thinking about people? why are we so committed to keeping you connected? why combine performance with a conscience? why innovate for a future without accidents? why do any of it? why do all of it? because if it matters to you it's everything to us. the xc60 crossover. from volvo. lease the well equiped volvo xc60 today. visit your local volvo showroom for details. for the past few days on this program, we've been showing you surveillance video from a scary incident in manhattan wednesday morning seemingly showing a hammer-wielding man attacking one police officer and
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being shot by another officer. but what this video seems to show does not square with what the people on the scene right there thought they saw. one eyewitness told "the new york times" the man was trying to get away from the officers. the video shows the man attacking one of the officers. another eyewitness told "the times" quote, i saw a man handcuffed being shot. the video clearly shows the man was not handcuffed. these sorts of mistakes are absolutely par for the course. less than two weeks, we saw an incredible illustration of the unreliability of eyewitness testimony live on fox news. >> mike tobin is live for us. he's on the phone. what has happened, mike? >> well, about 2:45, we saw a guy running from the cops here, right at the intersection of north and pennsylvania, which has been the epicenter of the unrest here. and as he was running away, that officer drew his weapon and fired and struck the individual who was running away. >> now it turns out that's not what happened. the baltimore police tweeted the report was not true. no one had been shot.
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afterwards, it appears that a gun had fallen and gone off while the man was running. he had dropped to the the ground. fox had to apologize for its false report. now, no one wants to go on the air and be wrong. mike tobin seems to have really, absolutely, genuinely thought he saw a man get shot. he was not making that up. this gets to a huge issue, intuitively, we tend to think that an eyewitness is our most reliable way of knowing what happened in a given situation. but social science has shown us over and over that simply is not the case. joining me now, public defender david fiege. so how seriously do jurors take it eyewitness testimony? >> theic it utterly and completely seriously. it is considered the gold standard and it is anything but. it is an unreliable kind of evidence that is taken and lovingly burnished and polished until it's presented in a court of law from witnesses from the stand who then appear to be
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unbelievably certain. >> by the time they get to thand, we should also say, first of all it's been a long period of time. they've also gone through a lot of rehearsals on what they're going to say and how they're going to act. and we know from the evidence the more times you tell a story to yourself the more certain you become of the facts, even when you're wrong. >> that's exactly correct. you get locked down and locked into a story. and by the way, that's the point. because prosecutors in particular don't want to put witnesses up on the stand who then have shaky memories. they want to be rock solid and they go over that testimony over and over and over again, until it sounds incredibly convincing. >> now, and so then what do we know about what the social science says about memory and eyewitness testimony? >> it says that basically everything you think is wrong. that in other words, we imagine that the eyes and the brain are like a camera, accurately recording what they see. and what we find over and over again is that we see, most often, what we expect to see. we are very bad at recording
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things that are surprising. that our brains fill in the spaces between events, to create a coherent narrative, which we then tell. >> and here's the fascinating thing about this research. they fill them in, in the moment. i mean, contemporaneously. sto so in this case, you see someone run and hear a gunshot, and see someone fall to the ground, your brain is filling that in as it is happening. >> that's exactly right. that's exactly right. because, we're trying to make sense of the world. our poor little brains are just trying to figure out what's going on out there. and this is how we do it. >> so then the question becomes, and we've got -- this social science research has gotten very robust and very mature and has got very developed. has that caught up to the courtroom at all? >> yes and no. not sufficiently. it came up in the context of eyewitness identifications, and particularly in the context of lineups, in the question of whether you should show people simultaneously or sequentially the question of whether or not
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there's unconscious bias in when you show lineups. so in that context, it's been creeping in but in the larger context, the fear is the wheels come off the cart if you really, severely, undermine the reliability of eyewitness testimony. >> so what do you have a trial based on? it seems so central to how we adjudicate facts? >> but, look, this is one of the problems. and it's one of the reasons we've got a lot of innocent people in prison, right? that's one of the reasons. 75% or so have to do with unreliable eyewitness identification. and by the way, it's not just eyewitness, like that guy did it it's the what happened of it all that is also suspect. >> that's right. david feige thank you for your time. up next, news of dorian johnson who have with michael brown who was shot and killed in ferguson and was an eyewitness. d and ready to enjoy the morning ahead. aleve pm. the first to combine a sleep aid... plus the 12 hour pain relieving strength of aleve. for pain relief that can last until the am.
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so you... you... and you, can be a morning person again. aleve pm, for a better am. doers. they don't worry if something's possible. they just do it. at sears optical, we're committed to bringing them eyewear that works as hard as they do. right now, save up to $200 on eyeglasses. quality eyewear for doers. sears optical 23-year-old dorian johnson appeared on this program last august 11th, two days after michael brown was shot to death in ferguson. johnson was walking with michael brown on the day he was killed.
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and late last month, he filed a $23,000 lawsuit against the city of ferguson alleging that officer darren wilson fired at him without probable cause. not long after he filed the suit, he was arrested in st. louis for allegedly interfering the arrest of his brother, as long as resisting arrest. an unnamed source told the st. louis dispatch when he was arrested johnson had a cough medication mixed with what police believed to be an illegal narcotic on him. we later learned an analysis did not find narcotics, which makes you wonder who the anonymous source was and whether a reporter burned by that source is having second thoughts about passing along their speculation. dorian johnson spent seven days in jail before he was freed on bond on wednesday. johnson has become a somewhat infamous figure to some, because his figure about what happened to michael brown, including the claim that wilson shot brown in the back was ultimately determined by either forensics or a grand jury and federal investigators and the department of justice not to be credible. and for that johnson has been condemned in some corners of the
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internet and other parts of the right-wing media as a liar. but if there's one thing we know about eyewitness testimony as we saw this week with the inaccurate witness accounts in the midtown manhattan hammer attack, and as we see time and time and time again, it is because just because someone recounts something incorrectly, it does not mean they were lying. take zzzquil and sleep like... you haven't seen your bed in days. no, like you haven't seen a bed in weeks! zzzquil. the non habit forming sleep-aid that helps you sleep easily and wake refreshed. because sleep is a beautiful thing. out of 42 vehicles based on 6 different criteria, why did a panel of 11 automotive experts name the volkswagen golf
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mass incarceration has become a major focus of the civil rights movement taking place over policing and the black lives party movement. and i sat down this week with actor and activist danny glover, who's been fighting for civil rights for over 40 years. it's one of the first things i asked him about. >> i think there's several things that come into play right here. and it's important to acknowledge that these issues are real issues. now, it's certainly violence against women as well. those are real issues that we have to confront right now. they could provide a bridge to talk about the real issues that
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affection mars ss incarceration. as i told the mayor of a city one time, she wanted me to go talk to people in the community. i said for what. what are the political projects? what are the employment opportunities? real employment opportunities the for people? what am i, to stand up there and say, i'm danny glover, simple as that? that doesn't affect their real life. how do we affect and change people's real lives. this becomes mass incarceration black lives matter or the dreamkeepers, all have become a movement that begins to look at the real historic issues that have prolonged and continue to exasperate themselves in the 21st century here in this country, then we're on to something. because we have to develop another narrative. and the narrative we're going to develop in the post-industrial age are not the narratives that were developed at the beginning of the 20th century and
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throughout the 20th century. because we're going to have to talk about work in another way. what kind of work that brings us closer together as opposed to alienating each other from another. that's the kind of conversation we have to have. if we look at the situation of black lives within this new narrative, and look at what is happening with these lives in this new narrative we understand, we understand that for this to change in an evolutionary process or not even a transformative process for this to change we'll have to change something else. because this narrative, as michelle alexander talks about in her, in the new jim crow mass incarceration, because this narrative has been a narrative throughout this country's history. it's been a narrative throughout this country's history, from the bacon rebellion to the eman pags proclamation. through jim crow and the civil rights movement. this has been the same narrative. and it doesn't it doesn't work.
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>> if i went in a time machine and talked to dannym!í glover in 1967, about what's going on in 2015, do you think he would be heartened or depressed when i reported back? >> i would be both. i would be disappointed that we hadn't gone further than we had, you know? and i'm saying, from 1967 we're talking about nearly 50 years. i would be disappointed we haven't gone further than we have. and secondly i would have been encouraged by how the movement in its way transformed itself metastasized into something else. that it begins to -- and maybe we begin to answer those questions. what i felt as a young 20-year-old kid in 1967 and feeling that coming out as a child of the civil rights movement, just on the preface or the involvement in the black power movement i felt a sense of empowerment in a way. i felt a sense that things
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were -- we could make things happen and change. there was a building of a certain kind of consciousness. and when i look to that now, i see, i see all those movements, 50 years from now, all those movements have in some ways been eviscerated. all those movements have transformed to the different aspect. we just celebrated the 40th anniversary of the end of the vietnam war. the way people galvanized themselves around that war even though we didn't stop the nixon government from bombing in cambodia and other places beyond, we also -- but we also built up a sense around here, that we made certain demands. and those demands, in political action and the action of protests in some sense, changed the nature of how the war was reported and how it reported.
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now, we may have some revisionist history about the wars, 50 years or 40 years after the fact and who won but we won. we won. despite the fact that 3 million vietnamese and countless numbers of -- hundreds of thousands of laotians and cambodians dies, we made a point. and we have to marshal the same energy in a different way. we have different instruments now. we have social media. we have different ways in which you can talk about the world. >> that was part of my interview with actor and activist, danny glover, who i just couldn't get enough of when he was here the other night. up next i talk drones, warfare and technology with actor ethan hawke, star of the new movie, "good kill."
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so you... you... and you, can be a morning person again. aleve pm, for a better am. is that real? you ever get to like fly in a war or something? >> blew away six taliban in pakistan just today. now i'm going home to barbecue. >> yeah, right. >> "new york times" calls the film "good kill" a contemporary horror movie. it's a fictional depiction of one of the hallmarks of modern combat in the age of obama drone warfare. actor ethan hawke plays major tom egan, an air force pilot turned drone operator, who engages in strikes by day and goes home to
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his family by night. i had the chance to talk about ethan hawke about the film with his latest collaboration with the director andrew nichol. >> i first worked with andrew nichol in galatica. he has an ability to put his finger on where technology meets. at the same time, we're table to design human beings, which is very complicated ethical problem. here we have probably the most sophisticated, useful, brilliant tool the u.s. military has ever had, but how it's used opens up a whole new set of ethics, for me to prepare for the part, is strange, because it's in this landscape, this sociopolitic landscape that's complex, but in the middle is really a portrait of depression. is a guy in the air force who's having a whole philosophical
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identity crisis about what the nature of where aviation is. >> i think one of the most fascinating parts of the film the fact that he wants to fly and this is what flying means now, right? >> that, i think is the hardest thing for him he's been a soldier for his whole adult life, so compartmentalizing work and relationship stuff is stuff he probably is familiar with. and when my grandfather was coming home from world war ii, it took him a year to get home. so he could leave it. this guy is fighting the taliban and then picks his kids up from school. okay, he can handle that. but it's also so remote you're not there, your life's not in danger. so you don't have any self-respect or dignity about the courage of your own convictions. plus it's not even hard to do. flying an f-16 is hard. flying a drone the training is not that complex.
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>> the thing you said about the difference between your grandfather coming home, when the first stories came out about drone pilots about these bases in nevada, having the thought and this guy talking about literally, this has never happened in human history. no one has ever done this thing. >> so as an actor, that's interesting. for me, we get to play a character we've never seen before. a along history of war in cinema. a lot of great war films. but this guy is somebody we don't know. we haven't seen before. i find that fascinating. >> it also occurs to me that the work that you're doing as a soldier, whether in combat or remotely like this is in some ways kind of the opposite of what you do as an actor. you're working hard to maintain separation, to put things in one place and keep part of yourself here. and the work you're doing as an actor -- >> so to blur those lines. >> -- is to open up, right? >> it's interesting. my only insight into like major tommy egan's life is how hard it
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is, if you're playing a really complicated person, like, let's say you're playing mcbeth or something and you go from rehearsal to having to do to a parent/teacher conference. the first part of the day, i'm teaching my body what it's like to kill somebody for the first time and grieve over that and go mad and do all that. and then you have to kind of pull yourself together and say, how's he doing with math. you feel a little schizophrenic. and i can imagine if you're doing that over a long period of time that it would knock you off-center, or at least have the ability to, if you weren't really put together real tight. >> there's also this aspect to the film, which is, again, in terms of the things about it that are tremendously distinct and tremendously applicable which are the private world that you have that you share with your spouse right? like, everyone doing every job has some private stresses, frustrations, angers fits of anger that aren't -- that are hard to communicate or access
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sometimes in the midst of a relationship. >> yeah, look, i can relate to that. you know it's super hard to explain to somebody who's not an actor what's hard about doing a movie. because there are a lot of things about doing a movie that are really easy. they're really kush and people treat you nice and get you coffee. so what was hard about your day again? and, you know, in some ways, it's not hard -- and it's hard for me to understand what my wife's going through. that's classic male/female or anybody who's in any kind of a relationship. and i think that's what i love about andrew's movie. is that ultimately it's really neither left nor right in its political landscape, he tries to come at it as a humanitarian. and that's what's -- what's interesting is how -- we push ourselves forward to achieve these incredible things. the idea that we've created this instrument called the predator that can do these you believe things.
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but what do we do with it and how does that intersect with our actual humanness. i'll tell you something funny about that. we were at the tribeca film festival and i walked out to do the q&a and about 90% of the people had their phone and they weren't actually at the q&a, they were just filming it. i was looking at this sea of phones. and i thought is anybody actually going to watch this later? they're not even here right now. it seems ironic to me. >> the fact of the matter is war is often the pioneer and forefront of technology right? so experiencing war through a mediated screen like, we're all just getting there in our regular life. >> now we're dating through a screen. now we're -- all that stuff is happening. >> you know, there's a really interesting -- there's literature on -- long literature on ptsd and one of the really interesting and consistent findings is that being shot at is -- can be less traumatic, often less traumatic than shooting. that being the instrument of violence is really the target.
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>> it's really really interesting. >> and he's in this situation, in which he can only be the -- >> you know, i hope this isn't too long of an answer, but i've done a lot of reading about that, because i find that fascinating. like, in the civil war, they often had the problem of why those battles took so long, guys would stand and load their weapon. at the end of the battle field they would pick up their guys with the rifle loaded 27 times. first of all few had very little military training. movies love to make stories about heart of men is black and we're all these secret serial killers and this secret darkness and in truth, there's a lot of light. and that light is hard to squash out. it's fascinating people would rather be killed than a, run away -- they don't want to be a coward. they want to stand by their friend. but they actually don't want to kill that guy. and there's a huge problem -- remember what the officers were most heard saying was, shoot
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straight, because they were shooting over or shooting under if they were firing. and i thought about that a lot playing this character. here's a guy, he's just doing the shooting. and there's very little it's hard to have honor in that. whereas if you're flying an f-16 over baghdad you may get shot down. you're being shot at your plane may crash, you may be tortured when you land. you could be the guy on the news getting your head -- i mean, it's scary. and so there's a huge self-respect you have when you have the courage of your convictions, you put your money where your mouth is you are willing to die for your country. there's a huge pride there. even if you don't like the ethics of that soldier and you don't like the politics of the administration that soldier is working for, fine. you still have to respect that individual. >> right. >> but the drone pilot, what tommy egan is going through he doesn't respect himself at all. because it ain't hard to do and he's killing people. >> my great thanks to actor ethan hawke for discussing his latest film "good kill" for me.
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that is "all in" for this evening. next tuesday, as i do every tuesday, i'll be answering your questions. head on over to our facebook page at noon eastern time on tuesday, ask me anything. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now on this friday. good evening, rachel. >> good evening chris. happy friday. >> you too. two really big news stories took two really you be expected turn late in the day today. a dramatic day in the news region. the first surprising news was the train crash story, which we've been following all week since that fatal amtrak derailment tuesday night in northeast philadelphia. a surprising development in that story today. the ntsb had planned a briefing late today on their continuing investigation into that derailment. and the ntsb if you know anything about the federal agencies who are involved in stuff like this the ntsb is a by-the-book, dot the is, cross the ts organization. they are you know, rigorous in terms of their attention to detail and stuff like their

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